Protocol reached to end crippling French Polynesia strike

4:43 pm on 20 May 2017
An Air Tahiti plane

The five day strike by French Polynesian firefighters has crippled domestic air services in the archipelago. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A protocol has reportedly been signed in French Polynesia to end part of a firefighters strike which has crippled domestic air travel.

After five days of disruptions, media reports say a deal has been reached between the authorities and publicly employed firefighters.

An agreement is yet to be concluded with all firefighters on the payroll of the private company running some of the dozens of airports across the archipelago.

Only a couple of islands had maintained links with Tahiti, throwing travel plans of several thousand people into disarray.

The stoppage also imperiled medical evacuations.

The partial settlement clears the way for a gradual resumption of services to the outer islands.

International travel has also been disrupted, with most flights being either brought forward or delayed to coincide with the roster of the skeleton staff on duty.

Tourism industry representatives have met to express their dismay that a small number of firefighters could cripple operations of what is French Polynesia's main industry.

They have called for a better legal framework to avoid a repetition of the problem.